We investigate the estimation of the bit-error rate (BER) performance of optical transmission systems with forward error correction (FEC) coding using a proposed uniformly quantized symbol error probability model. This model has been verified by the measurement of BER characteristics of coded and uncoded 10 Gb/s optical signals transmitted over 100 km. The measured results are very similar to the calculated results from the proposed model as well as Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. Our results suggest that the proposed uniformly quantized symbol error probability model using more than 8-decision levels can be applied to estimate BER performance for coded systems without degrading accuracy.
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